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Parish School of Religion


PSR Commission December 2016 Minutes



Members present:  Fr. Warren, Jim Mitchell, Ben Ramsey, Kristy Mull, Michelle Kelty, Krysten Watkins, Stacy Sanger

Jim opened the meeting with the committee prayer.

PSR update:  There will be no class January 2nd. Class will resume January 11th with the popcorn party.  Jim will get the popcorn popper from the K of C for the party.

Finances:  Ben gave the finance report from November.

CRE:  Fr. Warren gave an update on the CRE job description. Pastoral Council has approved the job description.  Advertising the position will begin immediately.  Places to advertise include the parish bulletin, newsletter, and website, and the diocese newsletter and website.  If there are no applicants, the committee may need to reconsider the salary.


PSR Commission June 29, 2016 Minutes





Members present:  Michelle Kelty, Ben Ramsey, Krysten Watkins, Kathy Hammeke, Stacy Sanger, Fr. Warren, Brenda Johnson 


Michelle opened the meeting with the committee prayer.  


Catechists:  Ben went over the catechist list.  Ben and Kristy have been calling potential catechists and have gotten several no's and maybe's.  They have also added more names to their list and ran the names by Fr. Warren for approval.  There were a couple people who agreed to be helpers but not catechists. Five vacancies remain. The catechists so far include:  


            Kindergarten: Judy Damm

            1st Grade:  Gretchen Whittington

            2nd Grade:  Krysten Watkins

            3rd Grade:

            4th Grade:

            5th Grade:  Kathy Hammeke

            6th Grade: 

            7th Grade:

            8th Grade:


            Highschool:  Michelle Kelty



Fr. Warren questioned whether it would be okay with parents to not have Kindergarten in the PSR this year due to a lack of catechists. Since the classes are mostly all too large to combine, the Kindergarten class is so small, and no important doctrines are introduced at this age, it may be an option to consider if worse comes to worse and we are short catechists.  Another option would be to combine 7th and 8th grades.  


DRE Report: Brenda discussed PSR enrollment.  A handout detailed enrollment for the past 5 years as well as projected enrollment for this year. Brenda also mentioned that for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 school years there was an outreach site for the Rozel/Burdett for 10-13 kids. Brenda is still working on typing a list of DRE duties/responsibilities. Brenda also handed out a flier on the Catechist Jubilee in Dodge City on Sunday, September 18th. 


Curriculum: A representative from Benziger will be coming on Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 to give a presentation on the Benziger curriculum.  The rep is aware that we haven't chosen a curriculum yet and that not many people are actually familiar with the books.  


Father was asked about PSR curricula at other small parishes he's served at.  Father explained that at his past parishes the PSR program didn't have a single curriculum series, instead the individual catechists chose their own materials. 


Stacy shared a syllabus from LaCrosse and gave a presentation on curricula from three different publishing companies we've been looking at: 


      1. Benziger:  The “Be My Disciples” series was described as overwhelming and hard to read by several people.  It seemed to be more directed towards a full time school situation rather than a once a week program. The “Blest Are We” series was directed more towards a parish PSR program.  There was more guidance for a 60 minute class.  There were lots of “fun” stories and “Jesus loves me” but it was difficult to find the basics of the Catholic faith, such as those laid out in the LaCrosse syllabus.

      2. Our Sunday Visitor: The “Alive in Christ” series laid out 60 minute lesson plans and gave step by step instructions for catechists. The themes of the unit were the same in each grade so there would be continuity through the program. OSV has catechist formation videos (8-13 minutes long) that could be used to help catechists. There were lots of pictures and worksheets, but that could distract the catechists from covering all the basics of the faith.

      3. Ignatius Press:  The “Faith and Life” series was not a “glamorous” as the other two series but it solves several problems.  It contains the basics of the faith, the textbooks are reusable, and the workbooks are simple, direct, and affordably priced. Each lesson was only 3-4 pages long, so it wouldn't be a whole class period of reading. The company is coming out with a specific Parish Catechist Manual to direct catechists in a 1 hour a week program. The catechist manual has specific ideas to use in the classroom, including where to go in reference materials such as the Bible and the Catechism, activities, and gives diagrams of how to use the chalkboard.  If a catechist had little time to prepare for class through the week, this manual would help the catechist open it up and teach the lesson in a pinch. This series was cheaper in price than all the rest.  Ignatius Press also had a reasonably priced adult formation series that would be great for continuing education for the catechists and the DRE. This company also has webinars on using the Faith and Life series.


        The committee will vote on a curriculum at the meeting the week after the Benziger presentation, which will be Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 p.m.


PSR Commission Minutes June 8, 2016



 Members present:  Michelle Kelty, Krysten Watkins, Ben Ramsey

 Michelle opened the meeting with the committee prayer.

 Catechists:  Ben went over the list of proposed catechists. All but one name on the list from the last meeting was approved by Father. Ben and Kristy will call the people on the list to ask if they would be willing to be catechists or even a lesser role. The goal is to have catechists before the July 7 Benziger meeting.

 Curriculum:  The Benziger meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. The Benziger representative sent a form with questions to be filled out prior to the presentation. “Presentation Expectations or Desired Goals to Accomplish” were considered.  Ideas suggested include:

 How to use this series when the class period is one hour a week for a total of approximately 30 class sessions.

  • How to make sure all the basics of the Faith are covered.

  • What have other parishes found successful in using this series.

  • Tips for new catechists, who may not have any classroom experience, in using the series.

  • Does the series have any ways to get parents involved in the lessons?


    Meal/Snack:  Whether or not to keep the meal at PSR was discussed. Due to cost concerns, lack of parent involvement, and time considerations in organzing parent-donated meals, the members present voted to discontinue the meal. Michelle will email the remaining members to get their votes on this subject.


    There will be no meeting on June 23rd due to Totus Tuus. The next meeting is Wednesday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m.



PSR May 26, 2016 Minutes




THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016



Members present:  Jim Mitchell, Stacy Sanger, Kathy Hammeke, Kristy Mull, Krysten Watkins, Brenda Johnson


Jim opened the meeting with the committee prayer.


DRE Report:  Brenda reported on summer church camp next week for 5th and 6th grades.  There are 3 kids going. Brenda transports the kids to and from the camp in Scott City.  The camp costs $225 per kid and is paid for with Zak's cheese sales.  The total cost for the three kids was $675. The 7th and 8th grade camp is in two weeks.  There are 7 in this group going for a total cost of $1575.  This is the week before Totus Tuus.


Brenda gets a family roster from Pam and sends all PSR eligible children a letter before the PSR school year starts. Letters are usually sent the 1st of August. The letter could include requesting parents to volunteer to help out. There are usually 1-3 new families each year. Making a phone call after sending out this letter was suggested. Brenda will begin calling about a week after mailing the letter, around July 10th.  The PSR Committee can help with calling if needed.


Classrooms are being worked on to get them ready.  The numbers of students for each grade will determine where each grade's classroom will be. The younger grades will stay in the Parish Center.  Grades could be separated if there are enough teachers.  Two teachers in each room works well for discipline and substituting.


Fundraisers:  Kristy talked to Jim Froetschner at Carr Auction. The Sacred Heart Youth Group is on the schedule for the October consignment sale.  The date for this has not yet been set.  Also the Youth Group is signed up to sell pie at gun and antique shows.  In the past selling pie has netted approximately $700.


The champagne brunch was discussed. Due to the no alcohol policy at the Parish Center, the brunch would have to be at the Knights of Columbus Hall to keep the champagne. The KofC kitchen might work better for cooking anyway. Youth Group servers could dress nice in black pants and white shirts.  Another idea is to have a $50/ticket raffle to raffle off themed drawings in which the winner takes a whole group of themed items (themes could be BBQ, lake time, etc.).


Another fundraising idea is a “Half St. Paddy's Day” celebration with corned beef, reubens, etc.


Totus Tuus: Krysten gave the Totus Tuus report.  Tshirts are designed. The Totus Tuus Committee mailed out registration forms, tshirt forms, volunteer forms, and a brochure.  The forms are due next week on June 1. Ideas for host families and volunteers for evening meals were discussed. Kathy Hammeke volunteered to provide supper for the team on Monday. No meal would be needed on Thursday due to the team having a meal with the youth that evening. Brenda volunteered to provide hot dogs, buns, chips, and smores supplies for the youth fellowship get together at Camp Pawnee. Stacy and Michelle have roasting sticks. We will need to bring paper goods to Camp Pawnee to stock the restrooms.


Bylaws: The committee voted to accept the bylaws document.  Detailing a job description for the DRE is included in the committee duties. Jim will get a copy of the bylaws to the Pastoral Council for their approval.


Confirmation:  The committee voted in favor of moving the age of Confirmation from 8th grade to Sophomore year.


Curriculum:  Several members were assigned a portion of the curriculum to focus on. Kristy will work on the preschool childrens dismissal curriculum, Krysten will work on the First Communion/2nd grade curriculum, Michelle will work on the high school curriculum, and Stacy and Kathy will work on the K-8 curriculum. It was suggested that children's dismissal consist of age appropriate bible stories.  High school kids would continue with this ministry. Michelle can text the kids reminders when it is their turn to do this. Jim will contact Benziger and see if they could send a representative to go over materials, possibly on either July 7th or July 21st.


Catechists:  Names of people to ask to be PSR teachers were suggested. Kristy will run a list of names by Father. Kristy and Ben will contact these people to ask if they would be interested in being a catechist or other helper such as substitute, co-teacher, or room helper.


March for Life: Participating in the 2017 March for Life next January was discussed. Our diocese sends the groups to join the Wichita group.  Cost per person is approximately $400.


PSR Wednesday night meal:  Whether or not to continue the meal before PSR was brought up. Having a snack instead of a meal, having no meal at all, or having parents provide meals were options discussed. Due to concern over the expense, if the meal was continued it would need to be provided by parent volunteers or fundraisers. Having groups of parents provide the meal for PSR on a rotating schedule was suggested.